93
drank Golden Fleece by Verdant Tea
61 tasting notes

I really like Yunnan teas, so I was almost certain that I would love this one. But I was skeptical due to the hyperbolic description. I’ve tried a number of Yunnan teas, including all-bud teas so I wondered how this one would be different. When I opened my bag of Golden Fleece the dry leaves looked and smelled very similar to Rishi’s Organic Ancient Golden Buds. When I put my nose into the bag, I could smell the difference. Golden Fleece had a more potent aroma, and unlike Golden Buds it had strong caramel and cocoa notes coming off the dry leaves. My guess is that it is fresher than Rishi’s Golden Buds. But dry leaf aroma doesn’t always equal taste, so I brewed Golden Fleece Western-style exactly the same way I brew Golden Buds. The aroma of the wet leaves was very similar between the two teas, and my initial tastes were similar as well. I started thinking, “There’s nothing special about this. It’s just Golden Buds!” However, when I took more sips of Golden Fleece, the differences started to become apparent. This tea runs neck and neck with Golden Buds, but comes out slightly ahead. The differences are subtle. Golden Fleece has a more complex flavor and a longer-lasting aftertaste. The spiciness of Golden Fleece also leaves a slight tingling on the tongue.

These teas are so close that I picture two farmers (one Rishi supplier, one Verdant supplier) who live across a dirt road from one another each arguing that they have superior golden tea.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec
Spoonvonstup

I think if you compared their steeping life, too, you’d also find the Golden Fleece comes out far ahead, and then there’s that texture on this one… Try them side-by-side, and I think you’ll see what I mean (just get yourself some snacks and comfy chairs, because it’s going to be a long session). A comparison done gongfu style (lots of leaf, super short steeping times) would also be very revealing. The style of steeping is not for everyone or every occassion, but it’s usually where I find the very-most rewarding experiences.

As for the arguing farmers, it would be a hard fight, because the Golden Fleece isn’t grown by a farmer- it’s wildpicked!! That’s an amazing thing I love about this tea. The poor Rishi farmer would just be yelling at the primordeal forests of Yunnan, winning him nothing but a sore throat and worried looks from his neighbors.

Solidaritea

I would like to compare Rishi Golden Buds, Rishi Golden Needle, and Verdant Golden Fleece side-by-side if I could get my hands on some more of the Rishi tea. The farmers arguing was just supposed to be a joke. I didn’t mean to mislead anyone about the origins of the Verdant Tea.

Spoonvonstup

Definitely! I didn’t think you were trying to be misleading at all- just spinning out the imagined scenario to even more silliness. :)

Do you get your Rishi teas mostly online, or from local resellers? We used to have a teashop nearby that sold lots of Rishi tea, but it recently went out of business. :/ Also- I noticed Rishi is selling something called Ancient Golden Yunnan. It’s not the same name as the Ancient Buds, but it could be similar?
http://www.rishi-tea.com/product/ancient-golden-yunnan-organic-fair-trade-black-tea/black-tea

Solidaritea

I order my Rishi teas online. I don’t think the Golden Yunnan is the same. I don’t think it’s an all bud tea.

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Spoonvonstup

I think if you compared their steeping life, too, you’d also find the Golden Fleece comes out far ahead, and then there’s that texture on this one… Try them side-by-side, and I think you’ll see what I mean (just get yourself some snacks and comfy chairs, because it’s going to be a long session). A comparison done gongfu style (lots of leaf, super short steeping times) would also be very revealing. The style of steeping is not for everyone or every occassion, but it’s usually where I find the very-most rewarding experiences.

As for the arguing farmers, it would be a hard fight, because the Golden Fleece isn’t grown by a farmer- it’s wildpicked!! That’s an amazing thing I love about this tea. The poor Rishi farmer would just be yelling at the primordeal forests of Yunnan, winning him nothing but a sore throat and worried looks from his neighbors.

Solidaritea

I would like to compare Rishi Golden Buds, Rishi Golden Needle, and Verdant Golden Fleece side-by-side if I could get my hands on some more of the Rishi tea. The farmers arguing was just supposed to be a joke. I didn’t mean to mislead anyone about the origins of the Verdant Tea.

Spoonvonstup

Definitely! I didn’t think you were trying to be misleading at all- just spinning out the imagined scenario to even more silliness. :)

Do you get your Rishi teas mostly online, or from local resellers? We used to have a teashop nearby that sold lots of Rishi tea, but it recently went out of business. :/ Also- I noticed Rishi is selling something called Ancient Golden Yunnan. It’s not the same name as the Ancient Buds, but it could be similar?
http://www.rishi-tea.com/product/ancient-golden-yunnan-organic-fair-trade-black-tea/black-tea

Solidaritea

I order my Rishi teas online. I don’t think the Golden Yunnan is the same. I don’t think it’s an all bud tea.

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